PM Inaugurates Work On Agra Metro; Project To Boost Tourism
The project will benefit the 26 lakh population of the city of Agra and will also cater to more than 60 lakh tourists who visit Agra every year.
Inaugurating the construction work of the Rs 8,379.62 crore Agra Metro project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that efforts are on to attract investment from all over the world to improve the country's infrastructure.
The Agra Metro project, expected to be a boost to tourism, comprises two corridors with a total length of 29.4 km and connects major tourist attractions like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandra with railway stations and bus stands.
Pointing out that one of the major problems of the country's infrastructure sector has been that new projects were announced but not much attention was given to where the money would come from, Modi said through a video conference that his government has ensured the necessary funds at the start of the new projects itself.
The project will benefit the 26 lakh population of the city of Agra and will also cater to more than 60 lakh tourists who visit Agra every year. It will provide an environment-friendly Mass Rapid Transit System to the historic city of Agra.
The project will be completed in five years.
Terming tourism as a sector in which there are means of earning for everyone, the Prime Minister informed that not only has the government increased the number of countries covered under the e-Visa scheme, it has also reduced the tax on hotel room tariffs significantly.
Underlining the importance of the tourism sector, he said efforts are also being made to attract tourists through schemes like Swadesh Darshan and Prasad.
With the efforts of the government, India is now ranked at 34 in Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
In 2013, India was ranked 65 in this index.
He hoped that as the situation continues to improve, soon, the charm of the tourism sector will also return. Emphasising on infrastructure development, the Prime Minister said that more than Rs 100 lakh crore will be spent under the National Infrastructure Pipeline Project.
Work is also being done on the Multi-modal Connectivity Infrastructure Master Plan.
He said reforms are now being carried out in a wholesome manner rather than in a piecemeal manner.
He remarked that for the development of cities, work has been done at 4 levels — Resolution of long standing problems, Ease of living, Maximum investment, More use of modern technology.
On the real estate front, Modi said there was a trust-gap between the builders and the home buyers. People with some wrong intentions brought disrepute to the entire real estate sector, upsetting our middle class.
He said RERA's law was introduced to remove this problem. Some recent reports show that after this law, middle class homes started getting completed quickly.
He further said all-round development from modern public transport to housing is going on to make life in cities easier.
The Prime Minister said Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana was inaugurated from Agra and under this scheme more than 1 crore houses have been approved for the urban poor.
For the middle class of the city, help is being provided to buy houses for the first time.
He said so far, more than 12 lakh urban middle class families have been given help of about Rs 28,000 crore to buy houses. Infrastructure like water, sewers are being upgraded in several cities under AMRUT mission and help is being given to local bodies to make public toilets better in cities and to implement a modern system of waste management.
Highlighting the metro expansion programme, the PM informed that post-2014, about 450 kms of metro line has been operationalised as compared to a mere 225 km before that.
He also informed that work on the 1000-km-long metro lines is progressing expeditiously. This work is going on in 27 cities of the country.
Earlier, on 8 March 2019, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Agra Metro project along with the commencement of commercial operations of Lucknow Metro on the entire 23-km-long North-South corridor from ‘CCS Airport to Munshipulia’.
Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries attended the event.
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